Caterpillar’s First Electric Drive Loader

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Updated: December 7, 2019

Dealers and key clients from across Australia and New Zealand were treated to a special showcase event on October 31 when Caterpillar put its latest wheel loaders, articulated trucks and a range of other equipment to the test at Quarry Farm, south of Perth.

The 2019 national Load and Haul Event was centred around Caterpillar’s new XE range including the Cat® 988K XE and 972M XE Wheel Loaders.

The XE range is proving incredibly popular for a broad range of applications across construction, earthmoving and smaller mining operations, and is closely based on the popular predecessor models with additional features providing greater productivity, efficiency and even better all-round performance.

988K XE Wheel Loader

The new Cat 988K XE is the first large wheel loader offered by Caterpillar with a high-efficiencyelectric drive system, delivering 25% greater overall efficiency and up to 10% more productivity in load-and-carry applications than the industry leading 988K loader.

Delivering high-production in all loading applications, the 988K XE is recommended for demanding job sites where fuel efficiency makes a difference in the machine’s total cost of operation.

The new loader features switched reluctance (SR) technology and leverages more than 15 years of Cat electric drive experience as well as more than four years of stringent testing in a range of applications, delivering proven reliability in the field.

The Cat C18 ACERT™ engine, mechanical dropbox, driveline and axles from the legacy of the 988K remain in this electric drive machine, providing a consistent, troublefree operation.

972M XE Wheel Loader

Cat’s 972M XE wheel loader features a continuous variable transmission that results in smooth shifts, fast acceleration, and speed on grade, whilst also delivering exceptional fuel economy.

While designed with the construction sector demands in mind, these characteristics will make the 972M XE a popular choice in quarry and mining operations with the need to deal with steeper grades, tighter loading areas, and greater pressure on cost per tonne.

Other Recent Additions

A range of Cat’s other recent additions was also on display including the 986K WheelLoader, 6015B Hydraulic Shovel, and the 745 and 740 GC Articulated Trucks.

There was a special cameo appearance by the Piacentini Panther Low Loader, designed by Bunbury-based contractor Piacentini & Son, which has been developed to improve safety and efficiency when loading and transporting heavy equipment around mine sites. Jarvas Croome, CEO of WesTrac which hosted the event and is the Caterpillar dealer for WA and NSW, said industry would welcome the further refinement of this popular range of construction and earthmoving equipment.

“We are delighted to be able to host such an important event on behalf of Caterpillar and welcome the interest and input of industry,” Jarvas said.

“Activity is increasing across Australia with a large number of infrastructure and major construction projects underway, while there’s also a lot of movement in mining.

“The highly versatile Cat XE range is going to be a popular choice for fast, efficient operations across all sectors, not to mention providing improved environmental performance for operators.”

Ranil Tennakoon, ANZP Sales Manager, Global Construction and Infrastructure, commented,

“The Caterpillar Load and Haul event was a terrific avenue to showcase Caterpillar’s commitment to innovation for the construction, quarry and mining customers. Customers tell us that they want greater performance using technology, safer and more comfortable working environments fortheir operators all whilst reducing operating costs.

We achieved this by introducing the new 988K XE, which delivers 25% greater overall efficiency, up to 49% in face-loading applications, and 10% higher productivity in load-and-carry applications as compared to the 988K. Customers also saw new the 972M XE which provides 25% lower fuel consumption on average compared to machines with traditional torque converters. Customers experienced firsthand how we achieved these efficiency improvements.”